Home' Hotel Management : HM February 2018 Contents W
hilst Australian tourism is in a strong
position, with record levels of travel
in Australia by both international and
domestic visitors, globally we are seeing
the ongoing impacts of traditional business models being
disrupted by technology. Adding to this, competition
between destinations for the tourist dollar has not waned
and travellers are increasingly being more experience led
in their choice of destination.
From an inbound perspective, which is where Tourism
Australia focuses its efforts in partnership with industry,
Australia welcomed a record 8.7 million international
visitors last year. This was seven per cent more than the
previous year. Importantly, these visitors drove a six per cent
rise in visitor spend to reach AUD$41.2 billion for the first
time. At this current rate of growth, it is vital that as an
industry we can offer the range and depth of experiences
to meet the needs of increasing numbers of international
visitors. When you couple this with Australia’s robust
investment pipeline, having a total of 39,116 rooms in the
pipeline from a total of 214 projects until 2024, it serves
to highlight the opportunity and importance of having
the right supply of experiences to support these projects.
A good example is the emergence of new and
reinvigorated destinations like Perth, which has seen
significant investment in accommodation and attractions
such as the Elizabeth Quay development to expand
on the city’s world-class offering. And, with the
commencement of the new Qantas direct services from
the UK to Perth in March this year the destination is now
closer than it has ever been to one of our longest standing
visitor markets – providing new news and reasons to visit
Australia via the west coast.
Of the international markets, the two where we see the
most significant opportunities this year are China and the
As the new year gets underway, off the back of another year when Australian tourism achieved record results, it
is an opportune time to consider the prospects for 2018 and beyond, particularly as we draw closer to achieving
our shared Tourism 2020 goals.
USA. China remains our largest market in terms of visitor spend, growing 13% to reach
AUD$10.3 billion in the past year, ahead of the USA at AUD$3.75 billion.
Notably, Chinese visitor numbers are still growing at a double-digit pace (up 12%
last year) to 1.3 million, putting China well on track to be Australia’s number one source
market for visitors and spend in 2018. And, longer term, to achieve its Tourism 2020
target of AUD$13 billion annually in overnight Chinese visitor expenditure by the end of
The other standout performer – the USA – has been growing at a rate of 10% to
an unprecedented 766,000 visitors last year. This puts the USA in a firm position as
our third largest source of visitors and second largest market for visitor spend. As the
market continues to deliver record results, Tourism Australia has big plans to build on the
momentum of this opportunity with a greater focus on the US in 2018.
Supporting this geographic strategy will be our focus on business events. The
international business events market remains one of the highest yielding sectors of
Australian tourism, with $3.7 billion spent in the year to June last year. This makes it as big
as the US. Of the business events market, corporate incentives remain significant and this
year will see Australia welcome the likes of Amway China, bringing 10,000 pax to Cairns
over a three-week period. With our signature incentive product showcase, Dreamtime,
recently being hosted in Brisbane we hope to stimulate further business opportunities for
this sector of our visitor economy in the years to come.
In terms of attracting prospective travellers, the influence of technology is something
we are constantly adapting to reach our target customers in new and impactful ways.
Mobile technology especially is having more of an influence than ever in connecting
consumers with the world. As we have seen in China with the WeChat App, consumers
are using mobile technology to plan, book, connect and pay on their phones all within
Technology too is impacting aviation, with the Dreamliner 787 aircraft facilitating
non-stop travel from Europe to Australia and the prospect of other aircraft who can
fly non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York – Australia
has never been more accessible. Beyond these developments Supersonic flight has the
potential to disrupt long-haul travel altogether.
So, as we embed ourselves in the new year, our industry is in a good place to build on
the momentum in working towards our shared Tourism 2020 goals, and climbing towards
AUD$130 billion in the next two years. Tourism Australia looks forward to working with
all its partners across the industry in 2018 to embrace the opportunities before us.
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